Many times we don’t have any idea about the seeds we sow. We need to be intentional about what we do and say. We want to be able to look back and see that our seeds are good and able to flower and grow. It is a good idea not to pass on bad habits and ways. These weeds will come back to haunt us later on. As an educator, parent, grand -parent and priest I have to be extra careful to sow good, healthy seed. I also have to work on myself and others to learn to cultivate safe, nurturing, positive, God centered growing fields wherever possible. I am always amazed to see, or hear, of seeds that I planted years ago. I am more amazed to see and hear of seed that were planted almost by accident. Gardeners know that there is a spirituality, or almost magical sense of satisfaction in growing a beautiful, productive garden. There is certainly an authentic connection to God through nature in getting our hands dirty “playing” in a garden.
Mark 4: 26- 34 is the story of two types of seeds. Jesus used stories, or parables to teach people and the disciples. Jesus knew that people would learn the lessons if told in a story form. The first story is about growing seeds. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like, a man who scattered seeds on the ground. All by itself (once upon a time, oops) the grain seed starts to grow as a stalk, then the head and then the full kernel. When ripe the man harvested the grain. Sounds sort of like us being born, go to school, become a teenager, get a job, start a family, go through middle age and die.
The next seed story is the mustard seed. Again Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like, the smallest of seeds, the mustard seed. Yet when planted it becomes one of the largest garden plants. The branches are large enough so that birds can build their nests in them. Again the thought to know is that Jesus used stories to teach lessons to people. He would then take the disciples aside and teach further the meaning of the parables.
There is a hymn that I have not yet heard. It is called, “Seed Scattered and Sown.” The Refrain says, “
Seed, scattered and sown,
Wheat gathered and grown,
Bread, broken and shared as one,
The living bread of God.
Vine, fruit of the land, wine
Work of our hands, on cup that is
Shared by all: the living cup,
The living bread of God.
So the moral of the story, eat your heart out Aesop, is that we need to be careful about the seeds that we sow. We need to be careful to take care of the seeds we grow. Most of all we need to remember that both the sower and the seed are in God’s gracious gardening grip. AMEN!
-Father Ed Murphy, Shared Episcopal Ministry